Recently, the worldwide phenomenon BTS has created a huge sensation in North America and Europe.
Thanks to BTS, for the first time in two years in a row, a Korean singer won the Top Social Artist category at the Billboard Music Awards, and won two trophies at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the largest radio music award in the United States. BTS was also invited to the American Music Awards, one of the three major music awards in the U.S.
However, in China, which can be said to be the base of the Korean Wave, the presence of BTS has not been as great as that of North America.
In the same week that BTS topped the Billboard charts with “Love Yoursself: Tear” in June, Korean male star rankings released by Baidu’s content platform (the largest search portal in China) revealed that Lee Min-ho, Hwang Chi-yeol, Kim Jong-kook, EXO Sehun, Lee Jong-seok, and BIGBANG G-DRAGON were listed in the ranking.
As known, the Chinese people’s minds are like an iron fist. It is clear that this country is more desperate for a foreign star than any other country. However, it is difficult for the Chinese to open their minds for something or someone new. For this reason, EXO, JYJ and BIGBANG, who are not just active in Korea, are still gaining popularity in China.
However, as China’s leading conservative media outlet, The Global Times, which has a strong nationalistic tone, has highlighted BTS. In addition, while BTS’ name wasn’t even known in June, in the beginning of October, two members of BTS has made it into the “China’s Most Influential Stars” ranking: V (1st place) and Jimin (5th place).
BTS immediately started their Asian tour after completing the tours in North America and Europe, but the name “China” cannot be found on the list of visiting countries. Starting with Japan in November, they will visit Taiwan in December, Singapore in January next year, Hong Kong in March and Thailand in April to finish their world tour.
Chinese experts said, “BTS is overwhelming in Korea, but it will be a little difficult to achieve inland acknowledgement in China.” It appears that there are still many Chinese who have a ‘Chinese ideology’ that they are the center of the world and have a tendency to be exclusive to foreigners. In order to become close to them, BTS will need to take the time to understand them and continue to practice and develop more.